Marcela Valdes is an award-winning journalist who also serves as the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a contributing editor for Publishers Weekly. Her work has appeared in The Nation, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, and Bookforum, as well as on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Her essay on the making and meaning of Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666, “Alone Among the Ghosts” (The Nation, 2008), was reprinted as the introduction to Roberto Bolaño: The Last Interview & Other Conversations (Melville House, 2009).
Valdes specializes in writing about Latin American literature and culture, though she also has extensive experience covering the general book publishing beat. She has worked as a book review editor for Publishers Weekly and as a columnist for The Washington Post Book World. She was a founder of Críticas, the English-language magazine devoted to Spanish-language books. She is now serving her second term on the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle.
Valdes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and grew up in California. She attended Barnard College, where she studied Comparative Literature and wrote her undergraduate thesis on Julio Cortázar. After college, she worked in book publishing for several years before earning an M.F.A. in Writing from Columbia University.
Valdes has appeared on numerous panels and has taught classes at Harvard University and Columbia University.
FELLOWSHIPS, GRANTS & AWARDS
Harvard University, Nieman Fellow (2010)
Center for Fiction, Roger Shattuck Award for Criticism (2010)
The Nation Institute, Investigative Fund Grant (2008)
Columbia University, Teaching Fellow (2001–2003)
Columbia University, Dean’s Fellow (2000–2001)